Nalu Fluff Week 2016 ‘I’m With Him’ Prompt: AU ~ Fake Dating AU rating: t - cuss words 0.0 word count: 1360
As a reward for the hours she’d spent studying, Lucy decided she’d earned a few late night snacks. This was why she’d gone out to the local 24-hour corner store, to pick up more fuel. She needed a few other necessities anyway. The walk there and back would clear her head and burn a few of the calories she was going to consume.
It was a store that she was long familiar with, but had never actually been out to so late on a week night. Lucy waved to one of the cashiers, a tall dark haired young man around her age that she’d never seen crack a smile. He was attractive in a brooding sort of way she thought. Efficient at bagging her groceries and brief with the small talk; that was all she needed from him anyway.
Despite the late hour, there were many other shoppers in the store. Some were pushing carts and some like her carried baskets. In the middle of the junk food aisle stood a young man wearing ear buds. He wore a shocking pink hoodie that matched his hair and what Lucy considered sinfully fitted jeans. Right now, he was crouching down to survey the selection of chips on the bottom tier of the display.
Bemused, Lucy watched the boy shop. He sniffed the packages, shook them and then took what she presumed was the bag that smelled the best. Curiosity ignited, she followed him up and down every aisle. She shook her head at his more outrageous behaviour and grinned to herself. He never noticed the blonde girl keeping pace as he did his shopping and sang along with his music.
Lucy almost lost her composure when he frowned and made faces at the jars of pickles. She had to detour down the feminine product aisle but found him again by the sounds of his growling stomach. He was squeezing the bread and talking to it. Part of her wanted to tell him to stop fondling the carbohydrates in such a lewd manner. But the voyeur in her needed to know what he was going to do next.
Lucy swore to herself she was just taking her sociology class to heart, observing this unique individual. It didn’t hurt that he was nicely constructed. Yes, very nicely; wide shoulders, slim hips and an ass that she wanted to pinch.
Into his cart he threw in a handful of chocolate bars. Weird, he didn’t stop to think and compare like he had with the other products. Lucy made her own careful selection, treating herself to a luxury brand chocolate bar.
Lucy was so confident that the boy was absorbed in his shopping she followed closer. She passed in front of him to grab her product choice and then fell back to keep apprised of his actions. All without him leering at her or trying some lame pick-up line.
Lucy checked her wallet. She’d run out of the house she shared with three other students with only a twenty dollar bill in cash. Oh well, if her impulse purchases ran over her limit, she could always use her debit card. The boy she’d dubbed in her head as 'Fire Boy’ (he had picked out three different kinds of hot sauce - who does that?) was now heading to the checkout lanes.
No way was she going to lose sight of him now! Lucy queued in line behind the cute boy.
He tossed the contents of his cart on the conveyor and removed his ear buds, letting them dangle free.
The taciturn cashier greeted the pink haired boy with a casual, “Yo.”
“Hey Gray. Ring this up quick, I gotta start studying. Oh yeah, gimme your discount too.”
“Natsu, you can ask me nicely.”
Lucy rolled the sound of Fire Boy’s actual name in her mouth, Natsu. Nice, but not as nice as he smelled - a bit like sandalwood and campfire. An odd mix, but addicting. He’d said he needed to get back to studying. Natsu must be enrolled at her college. If she was lucky, she’d run into him around campus. Right now though, she wanted to pay for her stuff and get home so she could study more.
“Why?” Natsu rolled up his sleeves and crossed his arms.
Lucy cancelled her idea that things should hurry up. Natsu’s forearms were sleekly muscled. The more she saw, the more delicious this piece of eye-candy was becoming.
“Listen Flame Brain, management has been cracking down on stuff like this. I gotta toe the line, understand?”
“Ugh! I just want my stuff!”
Lucy plastered a fake smile on her face as the two men argued.
“You know what? This is the express lane. You’ve got too many items.” Gray glared at Natsu. "Get rid of,“ he waved at the product littering the conveyor, "half of this or go to the regular check-out line.”
“But I need all this!” Natsu wheedled his erstwhile friend. "C'mon, who cares if there’s a few things over twelve?“
"I don’t, but my manager does. Choose, what do you want?”
“Fine!” Natsu looked over at the other line, now four people deep with giant carts of purchases. He turned back and finally noticed the pretty blonde girl behind him in line. Natsu whipped his head back to the cashier and then to Lucy, letting a wide grin spread over his face. Without speaking he moved the divider separating her few items with his, placing it so that he had twelve only.
“Great, I’ll be buying what I’m allowed, and my beautiful girlfriend will buy my surplus items.”
Gray sighed and began running the things over the scanner. "Since when?“
Lucy opened her mouth to disagree, but the hopeful look on her 'boy friend’ was making her knees melt. He had the most amazing deep dark eyes.
Natsu whipped his head back around to berate Gray. "She’s always been beautiful!”
Gray rolled his eyes. "I meant since when did you hook up with this chick? Why haven’t you told me about her?“
Irritated with Gray’s tone and enamoured with Natsu’s previous sweet words, Lucy felt exposing Natsu’s lie would be petty and beneath her. What he said next cemented her decision.
"Hey, you’re talking about a lady. Quit it with calling girls 'chicks.’ Chillax ice princess.”
Gray scanned the last item and tossed it in a bag. "I’ll give you the discount if you stop calling me ice princess. That’ll be $18.24.“
Natsu gave him a twenty dollar bill and shoved his change into a pocket. "And my girlfriend gets the discount too, or I’ll tell her all your other nicknames.”
“Ugh. Fine!” Gray snapped. Lucy’s and Natsu’s items jumbled together as he ran them over the scanner and bagged them. "I don’t know what you see in this dork, but your total is $34.87.“
Lips in a firm line, Lucy fished out her debit card. Her 'boyfriend’ had better pay her back. Finishing the transaction she made to take the bags of groceries. Natsu was already carrying them, his friendly grin putting Lucy at ease.
"I got this.” He angled his head with another sinful grin at Lucy. "Lead the way.“
"All right.” Lucy nodded and after stashing her card in her purse, she zipped it shut. Outside of the corner store she loitered under one of the street lights. "Um, can we separate our groceries now?“
"Let me carry them to your place, it’s the least I can do after all.” He shifted the bags to one hand and thrust out his other at Lucy. "Let me introduce myself -“
"Your name is Natsu, I overheard you talking with Gray.” Lucy let his hand envelope hers, it was warm and callused. "I’m Lucy.“
Natsu winked at Lucy after shaking her hand. "Naw, I’m thinking 'girlfriend’ suits you better.”
“I don’t let just anyone buy my groceries.”
“I need you to pay me back!”
“Tch, looks like I picked a stingy woman.”
“I am NOT stingy!”
“Oh, so you are my girlfriend then.”
“Just walk me home.”
Natsu grinned and strode beside Lucy, thanking his lucky stars his friend Gray was sometimes a douche.
Ohai! I just had to share my experience cosplaying at the Mall of America as Chii this last Saturday! You see, there are a few cosplay meet-ups that happen at the mall. I’ve been at MoA before to film things with my own group (NYAH productions) for our YouTube channel, but I hadn’t really been there for a mass cosplay get together before. I was excited to get to know even more cosplayers before Anime Detour!
The Mall of America happened to be hosting a Barbie exhibit. I was excited to take cute pictures of Chii there. Apparently, so were so many others! I was shocked by the number of people outside of the cosplay group that knew me as Chii while I walked around the mall. My favorite encounter was with a group of Asian ladies and gents that spoke broken English but got across to me that I was their favorite anime character. One girl in particular was squealing while we took a pic an as she was walking away with her friends. It surprised me and made me oh so happy!
There were also the people that didn’t know what I was doing but thought I was cute. They’d nicely ask what I was doing and I’d try to explain cosplay to them. It was great to see how intrigued people were and I was happy to spread the word of cosplay.
The best story of the day, however, comes from the rest that thought I was Barbie. I got called Barbie left and right, receiving many hugs and pictures while walking through the mall… but best cute chaos happened by the cute pink car in the pictures. I wanted to take a picture by it before my boyfriend and I went into a store nearby. Suddenly, little girls started running up to me one after the other asking if they could take a picture with me. Some were shy, others glomped me without knowing what glomping was, and some asked me (aka Barbie) many questions and hoped to talk to me as long as they could before their mothers dragged them off for others to have a turn to take a picture with or of me. I felt like a movie star! I was oh so flattered. Hoping not to disappoint, I put on my best Barbie-esque voice and personality and went with the flow. It wasn’t just little girls that took pictures with me. There were teens and even adults of both genders that did the same, but the children stole my heart. Their little “Barbie!” cries were so cute and the look in their eyes blew me away. I stayed there for so long, but I was so happy to do it.
Even though I wasn’t Barbie, I was to them. Out of my top cosplayer flattery moments, this definitely goes towards the top (despite not always being called the character that I was cosplaying ;3 not that I minded). It was an experience I’ll never forget. It made me realize how much I truly love making others happy while in costume, or even in general. =]